Monday, November 30, 2009
A lot of my friends lately have had kids, bought houses, gotten married or gotten pregnant. By choice or by accident they have taken the path of commitment and responsibility; the next step into adulthood. I have done none of these things and am really nowhere near any of them yet. It hasn’t been a conscious choice of avoidance. It’s just that my life hasn’t turned out that way so far. I’m traditionally a bit on the spendy side when it comes to money, hence no house deposit, and I’ve only really attracted commitment-phobic boys lately, hence no hub or bub. I also have a mildly violent independence urge that is probably responsible for the sum of where I find myself right now. And I want to be a rock star. Nappies and mortgages don’t compute well with that. Slap a vow of sobriety on top and you have a seriously individual individual. Of course I have never minded standing out. Being the third kid down in a pack of four (and the second daughter) showing off has been part of my make up since my year dot. I like being the centre of attention, and I have always done things to set myself apart. But I’ve usually had a gang of other alternative types to roll with. Now I find my gang disbanded, preoccupied with the pressures of parenthood and paying the bills. And that might mean turning to a younger set still in party mode, only I don’t drink now so that’s a bit weird too. What’s a sober, single, independently-minded and rock ‘n’ roll-ishly inclined gal to do? You see, the problem is in the incongruousness of my choices. It would be one thing to be the single rock ‘n’ roller. But the rock ‘n’ roll teetotaller? It’s a problem I’ve had for a while. I’ve always been the party animal that also loves reading and bookshops; the fashion and cosmetics junkie who digs on Scrabble; the bass player in the band who goes to bed at 10.30pm to get up for yoga the next morning. Maybe it’s not that weird. Maybe everyone is balancing their own mix of mismatching tastes. Whatever the case, if you choose an unconventional road, you can’t really complain when the crew doesn’t come too. You simply have to rock the path you’re rolling down, even if you’re in a band of one.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Today I encountered some challenges. First I went running with my brothers. I haven’t been running for months, doing yoga instead, and I’m pleased to say my fitness is in good shape. We did run up a very steep hill though, and that was challenging for my poor little quadriceps, which while now very good at holding the warrior pose, felt jellylike halfway up. I didn’t stop though and the run was good. Hanging with my bros was good too. This challenge I can handle. Second, I went to a picnic. This picnic started literally as a walk in the park. How tough could it possibly be? For the Sydney branch of my family and friends, picnics are notoriously boozy affairs. They tend to end when the wine runs out. And they’re fun. Weirdly enough, this one wasn’t the drink-a-thon it might have been. And no-one was really giving me any shit about not joining in. But it was the hardest drink resistance effort I have experienced so far. It wasn’t hard in the sense that I felt like I might give in. I knew I wasn’t going to drink. But I felt like a lone wolf. As I sat there sipping the lemonade I didn’t really want, I questioned why I was doing this at all. Would taking a harebrained stand like this make any difference to anything? Or was I just wasting a year of opportunities for fun times and replacing them with nun times? And then my friend told me she’d been facebooked by a boy whom we both know and I am seriously trying to forget. That coupled with the zituation that is currently baffling my face (thanks detoxing process, you suck) made me decidedly shaky in my resolve. I felt like sinking some whiskeys and punching said boy in the face (charming I know). But you see, that would have been my reaction before (except for the punching. I don't actually punch people very often even though I sometimes feel like it). And I’m bored with my recent history. I want to go somewhere better. I don’t know if not drinking is the way to get there, but the only way I’ll find out is by following through. Buy the ticket, take the ride (why do I keep referencing quotes from the famously drug-fucked (Hunter S Thompson in this case)? I think it’s my brain having a little joke.). So I’m still happy I’m not drinking. And I’m happy I won’t have a hangover tomorrow. And I’m not caving in for anyone. Because when the challengers come a-challenging, there’s only one thing to do. Hang tough muthaflipper, hang tough.
Speaking of which, check this out.
It’s not yet officially summer, but today is an eager forerunner; one of those days that can’t be arsed with officialdom and has decided to get this show on the road anyway. Sydney in summer, if you’re cool with warm temperatures, is a kind of paradise. The beaches are breathtaking and plentiful. Many Sydney-siders live literally steps from the sand or, like me, about a ten minute bus ride away from a dip in the crystal crashing waves. Parks fill the city and are breezy hives of healthy activity: jogging, strolling, Frisbee throwing and horse riding. Like I said, a bit like heaven (or my idea of it anyway). Over the last year or so too, due to some well-timed local law changes, a spray of neat little drinking establishments have popped up in various cool spots in the eastern suburbs. Chilled hangouts with good tunes, great cocktails, nice styling and far fewer tables than the foul drinking barns that have usually dominated Sydney’s bar scene. Coolness. For whatever retarded reason though (laziness mainly), I have sampled woefully few of these cool little joints. In a perhaps ironically timed move, considering my current stance on the main offering of drinking holes, I have decided to change this, starting tonight. Or last night actually. Last night I visited a pleasant little hidey-hole called Sticky. It’s been around for ages so it’s embarrassing I’ve only discovered it now, but it was cool. It was dark and comfy with an artist’s attic feel to the décor, and the nice boys at the bar concocted me a series of mocktails so tasty that I really didn’t feel like the poor puritan cousin to my Campari quaffing pals. And my sparkling mineral water was free. Nice one. Love youz all. So tonight, as the evening will be a balmy one, I thought I’d try another. This evening my watering hole of choice will be The Pond (sounds delicious!), a somewhat Swedishly styled, leafy indoor outdoor place, rumoured to be sponsored by a beer which I can’t remember (not that I would have been drinking it anyway). It seems the perfect city complement to my day at the beach. (Although if I’m going to look presentable, I’d better do something about these ocean-induced hair flicks.)
P.S. Does anyone else think the word “mocktail” is laughably outdated and crap? No wonder nobody wants to drink them. I currently have a small team (of two, including me) working on an alternative that doesn’t make it sound like you’re drinking a flamingo called Don Johnson. Any suggestions, hit me up!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Today I got told I was boring for not drinking. Now let me think about that. To me boring is the same thing as yesterday. It’s learning something you already know. It’s doing what everyone else does because it’s safe, and doing it over and over again. So to me, drinking is boring, not the other way around. Because everyone is fucking drinking. Mainly, as far as I can tell (and from my own repeated experience), to take the edge off and blot out the stressful day that was/the hated job/the coming week/the situation that doesn’t have an answer. Or to manufacture the joie de vivre, confidence and witty spontaneity that makes people interesting; “the life of the party”. I’ve got nothing against taking the edge off. We all need to relax. And if you’re one of the many pleasant people who can happily enjoy a glass without getting stupid then I applaud your social grace. But can I also suggest: if you’re not funny and interesting in the first place, alcohol is not going to make you so. Of course, it might make you more entertaining. When my flatmate came in obliterated on Friday night there was definitely a good five minutes when his swaying and slurry singing was genuinely worth being around to see. And people bumping into things is always comical. But the fact remains, if I’m boring sober, once I’m done hilariously jumbling my sentences and falling over, I’m boring drunk. And if I’ve got problems or a dumb job or something that’s doing my head in, getting shit-faced isn’t going to make any of it go away. It’s just going to result in the boring-est thing of all: another hangover, and the same pile of life-crap that was sitting there yesterday. So in answer to my accuser: sir, I beg to differ. Today I wrote a new chorus to a song, I began the lyrics to the verses, I discussed concepts for music videos with my fellow band member, and made plans to record some vocals tomorrow. I watched rugby with my brothers, saw all my nieces and nephews, played with a kitten, cooked dinner and had time to go for an evening stroll. I was not bored for a moment. And as I have done things today to move my music project forward, I will not wake up tomorrow feeling like my life hasn’t moved an inch. One other thing, so far since not drinking, my dreams have been off the hook. Even my sleep is more entertaining without booze! Go figure.
It’s Saturday. I am officially sick of talking and thinking about not drinking alcohol. I’ve told a few people about the whole 365 days thing and I’ve had some mixed reactions. My sister was awesome. She just said yeah cool with an air of excitement at what I might achieve in the time. I guess she’s seen my obsessive, personal ultimatumus [sic] behaviour in action long enough to know it’s better just to nod and let me get on with it. I love her for that. My best friend Ben had a different reaction. He said “how stupid”. This I found weird in one way because he’s in the freakin band with me. Surely my being solely and obsessively focused on turning us into rock stars would be good for him? Or maybe not. To be fair, he too has known me a long time. He’s seen how I swing wildly from one extreme to another, full of enthusiasm and conviction for my various crazes only to swing on to another one in a month’s time. He’s also experienced my manic insistence that urgency is of the essence during phases like these. As he’s more of a step-by-step kind of guy, it’s probably pretty annoying. So I forgive him for not jumping for joy and holding me up as some kind of awesome saint. He just thinks I’m being unrealistic by setting such a big goal. But sometimes to do anything really cool, you do have to set big unrealistic goals. Otherwise you’ll never bust through the status quo (and I do not like my status quo right now).
Anyway, there have been different reactions. Good ones, oppositional ones, cute ones (like the girls at work who said I HAD to come to their party because it would be good for my blog! Thank you Bethany and Sarah.), supportive ones (thank you Alicia). But I’ve realised the easiest way to do this is to shut up about it. No more shouting about “a whole year!”. If people ask, I’m just not drinking for a week or two, or that particular day. And meanwhile, I will get on with the job of achieving my goals. Because the goal in itself is not to just stay off the grog. The goal is to do some radical things. Radical rock star-ish things to be precise.
So today there are three simple things I need to achieve (not all rock’n’roll admittedly):
1. Feed my sister’s cat.
2. Do yoga (a hot body is important for rock stardom. And a balanced mind.)
3. Work on video concepts for our song “Hellz Bellz”.
Simple. Alcohol doesn’t come into it, and that’s all there is to say about it.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Genius or craziness? Don't know yet. I'll be working it out one day at a time.